The China Puzzle: Building Business with the Celestial Empire
Cooperation with Chinese partners in all spheres of the economy is reaching a new qualitative level. At the same time, Russian entrepreneurs often lack knowledge about the specifics of doing business with China. Ways to solve this problem and strengthen the bilateral partnership were discussed at the ‘Russia—China: Business in a Multipolar World’ forum held at HSE University.
The annual international forum ‘Russia—China: Business in a Multipolar World’ was held with the support of the Media-Communication Union as part of HSE University’s International Partners’ Week. At the forum, HSE University’s new Executive Master programme ‘Business with China: Organisational, Legal and Financial Support’ was presented, and a cooperation agreement with the Russian-Chinese B2B digital trade platform QIFA was signed.
Nikita Anisimov, HSE University Rector, addressed the audience with a welcoming speech. He wished constructive cooperation to the forum participants and expressed confidence that the opinions voiced would enrich the expertise of both countries and contribute to bringing bilateral economic cooperation to a new qualitative level.
HSE University Rector
‘Cooperation between Russia and China is a necessary element of the global turn to the East. As this cooperation develops, a large number of Russian entrepreneurs and managers will need to become more familiar with the ways of doing business in the Chinese business environment, taking into account administrative and legal factors. With that in mind, our university is launching a special master’s programme next month.’
First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the PRC (2013–2022) Andrey Denisov stressed the key role of Russia and China in building a multipolar world. ‘Polycentricity is in the interests of the global international majority. Today we have common tasks with our Chinese partners,’ he believes.
President of the Union of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Russia Zhou Liqun emphasised the importance of diplomatic relations between countries and their significant contribution to the development of a multipolar world. ‘Working with a Russian partner, we feel support at the highest level,’ he noted. According to him, economic cooperation between Russia and China is developing rapidly in all sectors of the economy: trade volume has grown by 32% this year.
In Russia, a huge amount of work is currently underway to build an effective partnership with Chinese colleagues, emphasised Dmitrii Kuznetsov, Director at the Higher School of Law and Administration, Tenured Professor at HSE University, and Chairperson of the Expert Council for the Development of Professional Qualifications at the State Duma Committee on Science and Higher Education.
The upheavals of recent years have presented an opportunity for relations between Russia and China, emphasised Victoria Panova, HSE University Vice Rector.
Cooperation is being established in various sectors of the economy. In addition to the growing trade in goods, trade in services is developing, and tourism is actively growing.
In addition, she spoke about university cooperation with Chinese colleagues. Currently, HSE University has built partnerships with 26 organisations in China. More than 200 Chinese citizens study at HSE University, and about 80 HSE University students are trained at universities in China. Also, 12 joint projects are being implemented as part of fundamental research at HSE University.
HSE University Vice Rector
‘Enormous opportunities are opening up now for expanding mutual trade and launching new investment and educational projects. The potential is significant—a lot can be done today.’
The PRC has been Russia’s largest trading partner since 2010, emphasised Sergey Lukonin, Head of the China Economics and Politics Sector at the Primakov Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO RAS), and Chief Expert at HSE University’sHigher School of Law and Administration.
Chief Expert at HSE University’sHigher School of Law and Administration
‘Today, China is the largest supplier of technically complex equipment for Russia, one of the main consumers of Russian natural resources (including oil and gas), as well as agricultural products. In addition, China is a fairly large investor and participates in joint projects in the field of space exploration, aircraft manufacturing, defence, mining, processing and transportation of energy and other minerals, telecommunications, transport, etc.’
At the end of the plenary session, Natalya Pomozova, moderator and member of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defence Policy, spoke about HSE University’s Executive Master programme ‘Business with China: Organisational, Legal and Financial Support’, of which she is Administrative Head. The training is practice-oriented in nature, involves the development of complex systemic competencies in management and contributes to achieving success in building business with Chinese partners.
Opportunities of International e-Commerce
The topic of entrepreneur training was continued at the ‘Russian and Chinese Business: Leadership in Digital World’ discussion panel moderated by Artem Semenov, Academic Supervisor of the ‘Business with China: Organisational, Legal and Financial Support’ programme, Advisor to the Governor of Moscow Region, and honorary citizen of Jiangsu Province (PRC).
Despite the obvious benefits, Russian entrepreneurs often do not have enough knowledge to cooperate with Chinese partners, said Anna Bessmertnaya, Chairperson of the Commission on Foreign Economic Cooperation with Chinese Partners of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Also, Russian business does not fully utilise the capabilities of Chinese electronic platforms. At the same time, the potential is enormous. In particular, Chinese consumers are interested in Russian cosmetics and food products.
Elena Anikeeva, Master of Chinese Business Law (University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Beijing), lawyer of the Primorsky Regional Bar Association, emphasised the need to possess knowledge of the Chinese language for drawing up legal documents, in particular contracts and agreements between companies.
The speech by Sun Tianshu, President of HYLINK Supply Chain Management, an international Russian-Chinese holding company, was dedicated to digital trade. He said that both countries actively implement government strategies for the digital economy in the areas of finance and taxation, as well as customs. E-Commerce structures are intensively developing in these fields. ‘The digitalisation of Russian-Chinese trade will lead to an increase in bilateral trade turnover by USD 100 billion,’ Sun Tianshu calculated. He spoke about the QIFA Russian-Chinese B2B digital trade platform, of which he is the founder and chair of the board. A cooperation agreement with the platform was signed within the framework of the forum. The platform provides comprehensive e-commerce services, including cross-border transactions, procurement, marketing, cargo consolidation and distribution, and supply chain finance.
The speech by Vasily Lemutov, founder of the Asia Business Blog expert and analytical project, was devoted to the prospects for the development of the digital yuan and digital rouble, as well as cooperation between these two currencies.
In addition, the forum was attended by Mei Xiaying, Postdoctoral Professor at the Law Institute of the People’s University of China, Dean of the School of Law at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE); Luo Ersi, General Representative of Sany in the CIS, and Zhao Di, General Director of OneMig International Logistics LLC.
Over 450 international students from all over the globe currently study at the HSE Faculty of Economic Sciences. Some of them have recorded video greetings, talked about celebrations in their home countries, and shared their ideas on how to spend the winter holidays in Russia.
During a visit to China, an HSE University delegation headed by Vice Rector Victoria Panova arranged to extend cooperation agreements with Fudan University and East China Normal University (ECNU). Particular attention was paid to expanding students’ and teachers’ academic mobility between universities.
Delegations from Nanjing University and Renmin (People's) University of China have recently made their first visits to HSE University to explore potential areas of cooperation. The Chinese universities have expressed interest in initiating collaborative research projects, educational and academic mobility programmes.
The delegation of the East China Normal University has visited HSE University’s Moscow campus. The representatives of both academic institutions confirmed their mutual interest in developing cooperation. The East China Normal University was the first Chinese institution to cooperate with HSE University. This partnership has been developing for quite a while, with the first memorandum signed on June 30, 2011, followed by two agreements on student mobility.
Experts from Russia and China will discuss new challenges and opportunities for business cooperation between the two countries, including those using advanced digital technologies. The event will take place on September 28 at the HSE building on Pokrovsky Bulvar. The forum is expected to be held annually.
HSE University plans to significantly expand its cooperation with Chinese universities and schools, creating new cooperation programmes and developing existing ones. This includes plans to attract potential candidates to take part in HSE University olympiads, increase the number of Chinese students at the university, and create joint educational programmes.
HSE University and ICCA RAS Launch Russia’s First Intensive Student Workshop on Collaboration with China
In late April, the official opening ceremony of Russia’s first intensive student workshop ‘Chinese Perspective’, organised jointly by the HSE University Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs (WEIA), the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, and the Institute of China and Contemporary Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ICCA RAS), took place. The intensive course will allow students to explore Chinese business culture and acquire the skills to work and do business in China.
The HSE Chinese Student Club at the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs School of Asian Studies has completed its 2021/22 season. Its participants and organisers talked to the HSE News Service about how they discuss China’s socio-economic, political, and cultural development as part of the club’s events.
HSE Lyceum senior Dmity Shcheglov was the first Lyceum student to participate in the international Chinese studies competition, which was held in Zhengzhou from October 17 to November 3. He placed among the top ten finalists from Europe.
The Master's Programme ‘Socioeconomic and Political Development of Modern Asia’ gives students the opportunity to study Asian countries not only in theory but in practice, thanks to academic mobility programmes at partner universities in China and other countries. HSE News Service spoke with three students of the programme about three aspects of their experiences—study, communication and food.